Scene: Shane, Jim, Marilyn, Barbara, Jennifer, Louisa and Stephanie sit around a table in a meeting room. They are anxiously awaiting for their new Product Owner to arrive. Stephanie is the Scrum Master and is dressed in Jedi regalia. The rest are team members. They are at sprint planning meeting.
Scrolling script: The galaxy is finally at peace after years of the Scrum Wars. Culture change is finally a reality as even non-engineering groups and suppliers have become Agile. In a time of unparalleled prosperity, even Darth Tod, the previous Product Owner, has become Agile and has been promoted. The Agile team called “The Padawans” are having a Retrospective meeting after a successful Sprint. They are eager to find out who their next Product Owner will be, unsuspecting of the peril that awaits them.
Stephanie: I have to say that I’m impressed. Velocity has over doubled since we started. You consistently complete all the work in the sprint and burn down reaches zero frequently. Roadblocks seem to be easier to overcome. The sky is the limit!
Marilyn: We owe it all to you. The Scrum Master can make a world of difference.
Barbara: A galaxy of difference actually.
[All laugh heartily at the cheesy joke]
Louisa: Things seem to be great. I never thought I would like work so much.
Shane: Yea. I’ll bet that our new Product Owner was very excited to be assigned to such a successful team.
Jennifer: I wouldn’t be so cavalier. A good product owner is hard to come by, yet they are worth their weight in gold. I mean a team is only as good as their backlog in a lot of ways. Agile isn’t only about scrum. It needs to be combined with other things to truly be successful – Continuous Integration, Test Driven Development, Paired Programming, Scaled Agile Framework, Model Based Engineering and other things should be considered. If you do stupid with Scrum, you’ll just do stupid faster.
Stephanie: That’s the point of this retrospective. We want to avoid stupid things.
Jennifer: I have a bad feeling about this.
Stephanie: That’s enough speculation. Let’s get started. Today we will be talking about our feelings. Engineers that are Agile have a lot of things to say about their feelings. Everyone take some stickies and get out a pen. I want you to write down…
[R2D2 beeps to interrupt Stephanie. Tod comes in along with the new Product Owner – Darth Vader]
Vader: Your thoughts betray you Steph.
Stephanie: Who are you?
Vader: Steph, I am your Product Owner.
Tod: Vader has some lofty goals, and I thought he would be a good fit, knowing what you are capable of.
Vader: The Agile is strong with this group.
Tod: Yes it is.
Stephanie: Have a seat while we talk about the last sprint and decide how to improve ourselves.
[Darth Vader sits down]
Stephanie: I want everyone to write a one word description of how the last sprint did on a stickie.
[Everyone writes on their stickie. Stephanie picks up the stickies and reads them one by one.]
Stephanie: Happy. Fun. Wonderful. Delightful. Exciting. Enchanting. Superb. Disturbing. Uhhhh. Okay everyone’s opinion matters. Would anyone like to elaborate?
Louisa: I had a great time during this sprint. Nothing seemed to slow us down. I thought it was “superb.”
Stephanie: Thanks Louisa. Anyone else?
Vader: I think the team could go faster. I find your lack of faith “disturbing.”
Vader: You haven’t achieved enough of the Agile. You can go faster. In fact, the Emperor is coming to visit?
Marilyn: The Emperor is coming here?
Vader: That is correct Marilyn. And, he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.
Marilyn: We shall double our efforts.
Vader: I hope so, Marilyn, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.
Stephanie: I sense darkness in you, Darth Vader.
Vader: Team, join me in the dark side. Use your fear to become powerful. Use your anger. Work overtime to accomplish your goal. Together we kill the emperor and rule the galaxy!
Jim: That seems extreme.
Barbara: Well, hold on here. Let’s hear him out. Vader, can your vision be broken down into smaller chunks that fit within a two week sprint period? Like maybe we could just take over a planet at first. Or maybe we just maim the emperor.
Shane: We can’t just go along with him. This is the dark side.
Jim: Yea! The Agile should not be used to kill people. It is powerful, yet we must use the power for good. This sounds like an ethics video. The next thing you know, we’ll all be interviewed one by one and I’ll say, “I guess I thought it couldn’t happen to me. I mean I’m a good guy right? I guess it’s all of our responsibility to stop and question what doesn’t feel right. If I had to do it over again, I definitely would not have killed the emperor. Hey guys they said, `Let’s kill the emperor.` Who does that? Then, maybe I’d still have my job.”
Louisa: The team is going as fast as they can. Your backlog may be in question, but not the capability of this team! Look at our burn down. It’s phenomenal.
[Vader stands and goes for his light saber]
Vader: I’ll show you a burn down!
Stephanie: Now everyone! Please calm down.
[Vader pulls out a paper and shows it to the team.]
Vader: Here are my plans.
Jennifer: Is that a moon?
Shane: That's no moon. It's a space station.
Jennifer: Alright, this has gone far enough. We are at a retrospective. I suggest a simple improvement story. “As a Padawan, I would like a new Product Owner, so I can get a proper backlog.”
Stephanie: Those in favor?
[Team raises their hands unanimously]
Stephanie: My apologies, but you must find another team for your dark plans.
[Tod escorts Vader from the room.]